Expression of Endothelial Receptors and Chemokines among Ghanaian Children with Severe Malaria
Severe malaria is caused by Plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasite with a complex life cycle. Complications of the disease often occur in children and in nonimmune adults, and may lead to death. Cerebral malaria, an example of severe
malaria, kills about eleven million African children each year. Several studies have been conducted to elucidate the pathogenesis of severe malaria, yet the concepts are not well understood. This study sought to bring to bear the expression and possible interactions between the soluble form of the endothelial receptor, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (sICAM-1) and the chemokine, Stromal cell-Derived Factor 1 (SDF-1) in the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria. Standardized ELISA protocols (ELISA kits) were used to quantify plasma levels of SDF-1 and soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) in the study groups. Children with cerebral malaria showed significantly higher levels of SDF-1 than in healthy controls (P = 0.027). The difference in sICAM-1 levels was also significantly higher in cerebral malaria patients than in healthy individuals (P<0.001). Those malaria patients who expressed high levels of plasma SDF-1 did not necessarily produce
high levels of sICAM-1, thus there was no correlation between levels of plasma SDF-1 and sICAM-1 suggesting that the endothelial receptor and the chemokine may have contributed differently to the outcome of cerebral malaria in the study participants.
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